Campus & Community

Stepping into action

6 min read

Harvard programs that help incoming freshmen to get into the flow included 800 participants in Harvard’s pre-orientation programs, a quintet of activities that brought the freshmen to campus before the official College orientation began at the end of August.

The students have myriad options in getting to know their peers. Participants may head for the woods, or fan out into Boston’s neighborhoods for community service, or stay on campus to tap their artistic muses. Others help Harvard’s maintenance crews, spending the week earning extra money and prepping the dorms for the new semester. The final group, international students, has more orienting to do than the typical domestic student group, so they spend more time learning about life in America and at Harvard.

Incoming freshmen in the Freshman Arts Program (FAP) conduct rehearsals and preparations for their annual pageant in the New College Theatre at Harvard University. Ty Walker '14 helps with design, painting an "H" for Harvard and, of course, his new home. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Alastair Su '14 of the musical composition team lays down some tracks. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Ginny Fahs '14 (left) and Megan McDonnell '14 paint some Harvard against the Boston skyline. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Charlotte Chang '14 (from left), Georgia Shelton '14, Xiaoxiao Wu '14, and Riana Balahadia '14 rehearse for the big event. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
It's rough work for Ty Walker '14 (from left), Sam Rashba '14, and Matt DaSilva '12, but the show must go on! Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
More elbow grease! Samantha Berstler '14 (from left), Alec Yeh '14, and Megan McDonnell '14 stir the paint. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Script writers Riana Balahadia '14 (from left), Xiaoxiao Wu '14, and Georgia Shelton '14 bounce around ideas in a room filled with brainstorming writers. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Meisha Brooks '14 (from left) of Boston and Tony Oblen '14 of Maryland harmonize and help plan the pageant's music. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
These freshmen — Alastair Su '14 (from left), Michael Wu '14, and Liv Redpath '14 — hammer out the finishing touches for the pageant's score. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Don’t forget your lines! Brooke Griffin '14 (from left), Ginny Fahs '14, and Diana Miao '14 prep the set. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
I think we’re alone now … Alastair Su '14 (right) collaborates with other musicians in a quiet nook of the theater. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Chin up, chin up! Megan McDonnell ’14 (right, in red) listens to pageant rehearsals. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Students from the art and design group powwow with other students and discuss the details of the show. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Speak your mind. Katherine Price '14 and Eric Brewster '14 discuss the script. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Behind the dry erase board, Aviva Hakanoglu '14 (right) conjures magic in a drum rehearsal for the pageant. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Ben Silva '14 (arms in air) runs lines with his fellow cast members. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Away from it all … and in a stairwell. Aviva Hakanoglu '14, Meisha Brooks '14, and Ali Slaight '14 focus in a quiet space. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Freshmen work to complete the pageant backdrop. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Ginny Fahs '14 (from left), Megan McDonnell '14, and Alec Yeh '14 coat the stage under the direction of seasoned scene painter Peter Miller '82. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Putting a shine on! The New College Theatre stage gets a makeover as pageant preparations get under way. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The First-Year Outdoor Program is Harvard’s largest and oldest pre-orientation program. Trip leader Emma Franklin '12 (center, in pink shorts) leads the group in New Hampshire. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Trip leader Henry Yin '11 (center) talks to the group during a brief water stop on the trail. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Class of 2014 member Katya Johns takes a breather during a water break along the trail. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Weeklong hiking, hiking/service, and hiking/canoeing trips offer an excellent learning environment for students prior to their arrival on campus. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Nearing the crest of the mountain, the terrain levels out. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
At the summit, an intricate spider web glistens. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Trip 43 celebrates a wet but well-fought victory in a game of "Zoo" against Trip 42 on the summit. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Freshman Nikhil Mulani (right) looks back with a smile. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
FOP’ers help each other along the trail, setting the foundation for long-lasting bonds of friendship. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Anne McKenna ’14 makes her way across a bridge under the watchful eye of trip leader Henry Yin '11. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Freshman Matthew Warshauer of New Jersey tightens up a rope that will become the base of the students’ shelter. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Trip leader Emma Franklin '12 (center) yells encouragement while setting up camp with the help of Leah Schulson (left) and Katya Johns. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Trip Leader Emma Franklin '12 cooks dinner for the FOP'ers in the New Hampshire camp. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Freshman Simone Polanen laughs during dinner time inside the shelter. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
After cleaning up dinner, FOP'ers put food and other belongings into a "bear bag,” which is then hoisted into a tree for the night, away from camp. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Leader Emma Franklin '12 goes over the map for the next day’s hike. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Four days of rain make for wet and grimy boots in camp. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Trip leader Emma Franklin '12. Justin Ide/Harvard University
Trip leaders Henry Yin '11 (center) and Emma Franklin '12 (left) participate in the morning group meeting. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer
Trip 43 (back row, from left): Jason Gandelman, Anne McKenna, Emma Franklin, Simone Polanen, Stephen Bates, Matthew Warshauer; (front row, from left): Nikhil Mulani, Keerthi Reddy, Henry Yin, Leah Schulson and Katya Johns. Justin Ide/Harvard Staff Photographer